December 16, 2010 09:10:08 GMT
The 'Bond' actress tops the poll conducted by The Stage, beating out the likes of Ian McKellen and Maggie Smith.
Dame Judi Dench has been hailed as the greatest stage star of all time - ahead of theater legends Laurence Olivier and Sir Ian McKellen. The "Bond" star has worked in theater since the 1950s and has received seven of Britain's prestigious Olivier Awards - more than any other performer.
And in a poll by acting publication The Stage, the actress saw off competition from the man her accolades are named after to be crowned queen of the theater. After hearing the news, Dench said, "I'm completely at a loss for words but it's one hell of a thing to live up to."
In second place was Dame Maggie Smith, Mark Rylance was in third and McKellen in fourth. Revered Olivier only made fifth on the list, followed by Paul Scofield, Sir John Gielgud, Sir Michael Gambon, Vanessa Redgrave and Sir Ralph Richardson.